Christina Hillman wins NCAA indoor national title


Christina Hillman opens up the women’s shot put finals with her first throw of 16.31 meters at the Iowa State Big 12 Track and Field Championships. Hillman, a junior, later took first place with a throw of 17.18 meters.

Chris Wolff

After slipping to the No. 2 ranking in the shot put event down the final stretch of the indoor season, after holding the No. 1 ranking for much of the year, Iowa State’s Christina Hillman regained the top spot this weekend.

Hillman reclaiming the top spot couldn’t have came at a better time, as the All-American accomplished the feat at the NCAA Indoor Championships en route to winning her first national title.

Hillman, who also won her first Big 12 title earlier this season, was the runner-up at both the Big 12 meet and the NCAA meet a year ago in the shot put event.

However, this year’s field was wide open after the reigning champion in both meets, Tia Brooks, graduated from Oklahoma after last season.

Hillman was able to capitalize on the wide open field, but it took a personal record to do it. Hillman’s championship-winning throw was 59′ 6.75″, a full foot further than her previous career-best throw.

Kearsten Peoples, who came in to the meet as the No. 1 seed, finished in third place.

Also representing Iowa State on the women’s side at the NCAA Indoor Championships was Ejiro Okoro, who entered the meet as the No. 3 ranked athlete in the 800-meter run.

The top-8 times in prelims advanced to the finals and Okoro missed advancing to the finals by just .16 seconds. Her time was the ninth best.

Okoro was hampered by a knee injury she tweaked in the final week of practice leading up to the meet. Due to the injury, Okoro didn’t run at all in warm-ups, trying to save her knee for the race.

Despite racing with the injury, Okoro still claimed second team All-American honors for her performance.